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Politics and Government
Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

Onondaga County gets ‘B’ grade for social distancing, positive cases rise to 249

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Onondaga County
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File Photo
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

The Social Distancing Scoreboard, which uses mobile phone data to track the movement of people, gave Onondaga County a “B” grade, in terms of the average distance people are traveling. It’s a 30-40% decrease in travel, but at his Tuesday press briefing, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said that’s still not good enough. 

“We need to step it up, because if we want to flatten this curve, we’ve got to do better,” McMahon said. “That’s why we’ve made the policies that we’ve made.”

McMahon said disease control experts make prediction models based off of how much people are social distancing.

“For us to get on a model to get to the point where we can start to talk about economic recovery, we got to do better,” McMahon said.

Onondaga County is up to 249 positive cases; that’s 21 more since Monday. Thirty-one people are in the hospital and 12 are in critical condition. Fifty-five people have recovered and have been released from quarantine, up from 41 yesterday. There are 485 tests still pending. A little more than 7% of cases in the county test positive for the coronavirus. There was also an uptick in the amount of tests being conducted. The county is averaging 100 tests a day at its triage site. On Monday, they did 130.

The county is purchasing 30,000 face masks from Tessy Plastics, which has designed and developed the face masks in the past few days for health care workers. Production should begin Friday.

With many businesses laying off or furloughing workers, McMahon said the county has also had to cut seasonal and part-time workers by 50 percent.

“We are no different from any other business,” McMahon said. “We have no clue what our revenue is going to look like in three or four weeks. We are going through austerity measures within our budget already. It’s going to be painful.”

McMahon said some of the workers may qualify for unemployment.

“Certainly, we are going to do everything we can to keep our workforce at full staffing levels, but we’re just like anybody else,” McMahon said. “There’s no money. How are you going to do it?”